Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The End of an Era

Saturday night, I watched a show on the National Geographic Channel. I know, I guess it shows my age, but there are some really interesting shows on there from time-to-time. I like to watch shows where I actually learn something.

This particular show was on the demolition of the historic Orange Bowl in Miami. The city of Miami decided to tear down the historic stadium to make way for a baseball field. The stadium had withstood decades, over 80 to be exact, of fans, games, storms, and renovations. Unfortunately, the staduim had gotten to the point where it was more expensive to renovate it than it was to build a new stadium.

As I watched the show, several lessons came out.

1. Nothing built by man lasts for forever. Here was a stadium that was built in the 1930s, I believe. The stadium was built with concrete and steel. Yet, in less than 4 months, the entire building was demolished and hauled away. 95% of the stadium was actually recycled, but still, the stadium itself is gone, torn down, demolished, only a faint memory. The same is true in life. Nothing you and I build will last forevever. Nothing.

2. What has value in one era probably will not have value in another. The stadium started out small and was added to over the years. As the University of Miami grew, the stadium grew. As the Orange Bowl game became more popular, so did the stadium. Yet, in the end, the stadium that held over 80,000 people, died a quick death. You see, in the day of skyboxes and luxury suites, the stadium didn't meet the needs of the fans and corporations buying tickets. Our jobs are like that. Our possessions are like that. Our homes are like that. What may mean the world to us today will have little value to those who come behind us! Those valued possesions may well wind up on the trash heap, thrown out by our own children.

3. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The Orange Bowl stadium was once quite the stadium! It was the showpiece for professional football and the University of Miami. However, over the years, the stadium began to show its age. It had cracks, the paint was peeled, and the signs rusted. When compared to other stadiums, it was no longer a spectacle. I wonder, how many "mature" workers have been forced out of their companies because they had a few cracks and rust?

4. Even in demolition, humor can be found. One of the demolition company managers was asked if it was sad to see the old stadium come down. He said, "Not really. I'm an Oklahoma Sooner fan! Being a part of the demolition helps me to get even for all the times the Hurricanes beat us in the 1980s!" Hey, in life, you either cry or laugh. I think it is better to laugh.

5. Whatever is built in place of this stadium will also be replaced one day. This year, Yankee Stadium and Mets Stadium will be replaced by newer stadiums. The Atlanta Braves tore down their baseball stadium around the Atlanta Olympic games. Today, where their old stadium stood is now part of their massive parking lot. I have no doubt that the baseball stadium in Miami will one day become outdated and and eyesore. Most manmade things become just that.

6. While the Orange Bowl hosted countless Super Bowls and National Championship Games, even that couldn't keep it open. Fame doesn't equal eternity. Glory doesn't ensure success or future.

What lessons can be learned here? Well, those are six that I learned from watching the show. I'm sure there are dozens of others that can be written. Please feel free to share your ideas as you have time. Just remember, those words, while important to all of us today, won't last forever. One day, this blog will be closed, or blogs will go away, or the latest and greatest new communication tool will come along. My words and yours will disappear.

The only certainty we have in life is that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!


  1. Good words Steve. Very true and thought-provoking. I take great joy and comfort in "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever." But are you really serious when you say our blogs will go away? Say it ain't so Joe! :)

  2. Bill...for me, it all comes down to priorities. 2009 is going to be challenging year, for reasons I can't yet write about. So, as in all things, I just have to evaluate where I spend my time and energy. While blogging is a great outlet, and I've met great "friends", it doesn't pay the bill, so to speak.

  3. Good reminder as we kick off 2009, Steve. I had to re-read the sentence about how the stadium had been there for "decades, over 80 to be exact" to realize you switched to years. ;-)

    I'm praying for you and your family's 2009. As long as we're doing what God has put on our hearts, we can't go wrong. Even if that means no blogging.

    Your site would be missed, no doubt. But who are we to stand between you and what God is telling you to do?!?! :D

    It sure would be nice to have just one bill, though. Ha Ha Ha! :D

  4. Well, there is no way I "can't" comment about the Orange Bowl...

    When I was at OU in the early 80's, (and I even saw it happen THIS season) oranges were thrown out onto the field to signify that we would "go all the way".

    While that only happened once in the 80's (my senior year to be exact) the Orange Bowl holds (held) a very special place in the hearts of Sooners for the reason expressed in No. 4 above and for the fact that it meant our "Championship dreams".

    I hate to see ends of eras, but it is the nature of life on this earth. Won't it be great when we all get to Heaven and know that whatever He has in store for us there will last forever!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to read what you have written.